MOORLACH UPDATE — Get Mad, Get Motivated — October 19, 2018

When I get mad, I get motivated. That’s probably why I’m in public office. When I did a little research and realized what then-Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert L. “Bob” Citron was doing, I got mad. Mad enough to step out of my comfort zone as a partner in a large local C.P.A. accountancy firm, Balser, Horowitz, Frank & Wakeling, and run against him, unsuccessfully, in the June 1994 primary (see https://www.ronbluecpa.com/location/orange-county).

Well, I’m watching the financial status of California and its municipalities crumble and everyone seems to either be ignoring it or putting their heads in the sand. What to do? There is no singular and accessible public repository to find the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for every municipality. So, my office decided to create it. We went to every school district website or contacted the districts (two or three still haven’t provided them). We also received exceptional assistance from Marc Joffe at Reason Foundation by helping us track down a few of the stragglers.

Since my stint as Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2012, I’ve been reviewing California county CAFRs and taking their Unrestricted Net (Assets or Deficit) Position (UNP) and dividing it by its population. The per capita UNP is a very reliable indicator of the fiscal status of a municipality and allows us to compare them apples-to-apples (or, in the case below, oranges-to-oranges). The UNP should be positive (net assets), but more than likely it is negative (net deficit).

We reviewed the 482 cities earlier this year because I was mad. I’ve been drafting and presenting pension reform legislation and most of the cities, with the exception of those in Orange County, have been largely disengaged on this ever-increasing millstone. What to do? Show everyone how all of the cities are doing. It’s having an impact. The third and fourth editorial pieces below are recent columns from the Culver City Observer. The columnist gets it. Not only for the city, but for the city’s school teachers (see MOORLACH UPDATE — City CAFR Rankings – Vol. 1 – February 7, 2018). Just wait until the columnist finds out that Culver City Unified is #831 out of 940 — ouch (see MOORLACH UPDATE — California School District Rankings, Group 13 — August 28, 2018).

The second piece below announces our most recent review of the CAFRs for the 944 school districts in California. As a few have combined to save on auditing fees, we have 940 on the list. The Orange County Breeze, in the second piece below, provides the overview from our press release.

I have had the pleasure these past few years of serving on the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and its Subcommittee No. 1 on Education (see https://sbud.senate.ca.gov/subcommittee1). When I’m told by representatives of our state’s CSU and UC systems that they cannot provide me with a ten-year Strategic Financial Plan, I get mad.

When I hear that teachers in LA voted to go on strike, I get mad. Don’t these people know how desperate their employer’s CAFR is? And, that it will be worse when the June 30, 2018 audits are completed thanks to the now required inclusion of retiree medical liabilities?

So, as an involved and committed elected official, I rolled up my sleeves and, with my staff, started digging. Regretfully, the data we obtained is not encouraging and the trend lines are not going in the right direction.

What to do? It’s time to be proactive! Now! If California’s elected leaders continue to hesitate, then being reactive will be too late and too ugly.

The first piece below is my editorial submission on this most recent school CAFR repository project. To be honest with you, the numbers were so bleak it impacted me emotionally. I was truly saddened to reveal the results of our simple metric. You’ve already seen them by my releasing 14 volumes of data in the month of August. The OC Register gave me an opportunity to expound on Orange County’s 27 public school districts.

If anything, I hope you get mad, too. And, get out of your comfort zone and do something to improve the situation. Volunteer for a campaign. Contribute to a candidate. Put up a yard sign. Even start doing the research to see if you should be a candidate yourself someday. We’re leaving a massive mess to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Please, get motivated.

 

OPINION

All OC public school districts but one bleed red ink

By JOHN MOORLACH

https://www.ocregister.com/2018/10/18/all-oc-public-school-districts-but-one-bleed-red-ink/

Of Orange County’s 27 public school districts, just one, Fountain Valley Elementary, boasts a positive balance sheet. Unfortunately, the other school districts have balance sheets that have dipped into the red.

The scoring comes as part of my new report, “Financial Soundness Rankings for California’s Public School Districts, Colleges & Universities.” It reviews the financial soundness of all 944 California public school districts. I performed a similar review of California’s 482 cities, including Orange County’s 34 cities, back in March. In that case, 19 O.C. cities ran positive balance sheets, although 15 ran red ink – a much better performance than for the school districts.

The rankings derive from each district’s latest Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which you can find on their respective websites. In each CAFR, look for the “Basic Financial Statements,” starting with the page titled “Statement of Net Position.” Look at the top row for “Government Activities.” Then look down the column to where it says, first “Net Position,” then “Unrestricted.” That’s the number you want: the Unrestricted Net Position, or UNP.

The number will either be positive or, with parentheses around it, negative.

I also divide the UNP by the district’s population to get a per-capita UNP. If negative, that’s the amount each person in the district is in hock for, whether or not your children attend school. Citizens should be concerned about the trajectory of these negative balances, which are commonly attributed to unfunded pension liabilities. As school board members are auditioning for their jobs, they need to be held accountable for dealing with these liabilities.

If the negative number runs too high too long, it will mean cuts in teachers, equipment, band and sports, and ultimately calls for tax increases. In the worst cases, takeover by the state, even bankruptcy, is not out of the question.

Fountain Valley Elementary’s positive number clocks at $78 per capita. For comparison, it ranks 102nd of California’s 944 school districts.

It’s all negative after that, with the second and third “best” being Laguna Beach Unified at ($223) and Fullerton Joint Union High at ($344).

By far the worst is Santa Ana Unified at ($1,805), a very dangerous number. It ranks a dismal 901st of California’s 944 school districts.

Oddly, the next two places of financial distress are held by districts in wealthy OC communities, Irvine Unified ($1,115) and Newport-Mesa Unified ($1,089).

Here are the per capita UNPs for all Orange County school districts:

1. Fountain Valley $ 78

2. Laguna Beach Unified ($ 223)

3. Fullerton Joint Union High ($ 344)

4. Huntington Beach City Union High ($ 350)

5. Huntington Beach City Elementary ($ 508)

6. Centralia Elementary ($ 532)

7. Orange Unified ($ 553)

8. Garden Grove Unified ($ 573)

9. Savanna Elementary ($ 589)

10. Cypress Elementary ($ 607)

11. Los Alamitos Unified ($ 619)

12. Anaheim Union High ($ 675)

13. Magnolia Elementary ($ 741)

14. Fullerton Elementary ($ 743)

15. La Habra City Elementary ($ 752)

16. Saddleback Valley Unified ($ 779)

17. Ocean View ($ 813)

18. Tustin Unified ($ 837)

19. Anaheim Elementary ($ 841)

20. Brea-Olinda Elementary ($ 888)

21. Buena Park Elementary ($ 898)

22. Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified ($ 966)

23. Capistrano Unified ($ 967)

24. Westminster ($ 988)

25. Newport-Mesa Unified ($1,089)

26. Irvine Unified ($1,115)

27. Santa Ana Unified ($1,805)

This is part of my effort to track the per capita UNPs of California’s various government budgets. In addition to the city budgets mentioned earlier, I have tracked counties, community colleges, California State University and the University of California as well as all 50 U.S. states.

You can follow all these analyses on my legislative website. The reports will be regularly updated.

Next year is going to be especially revealing – and distressing – as the Governmental Accounting Standards Board for the first time will require balance sheets to include unfunded retiree medical liabilities, which will show even more city and school districts in critical condition.

And when the next economic recession hits, for even those modestly distressed, it’s going to be one big financial train wreck.

Let’s hope our elected school board members and their administrative staff get in front of this serious cash management squeeze on their horizon. It’s time to be proactive, as taxpayers are not very forgiving with those who are reactive. Especially with supposed leaders who only have one solution: raise taxes.

John M.W. Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, represents the 37th District in the California Senate

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 10.29.42 AM

Moorlach report finds 2/3 of California’s 944 school districts bleed red ink

http://www.oc-breeze.com/2018/10/05/128366_moorlach-report-finds-2-3-of-californias-944-school-districts-bleed-red-ink/

Sen. John Moorlach released his latest fiscal report, “Financial Soundness Rankings for California’s Public School Districts, Colleges & Universities.” SEE REPORT HERE. It follows his March 2018 reports on the state’s 482 cities that found 2/3 of them in the red; of 58 counties, 55 suffered deficits and only three enjoyed positive balance sheets. His May 2018 report on the 50 U.S. states found only nine were financially healthy, with California ranked among the worst, in 42nd place.

Some key findings from the new education report:

  • About two-thirds of California’s 944 public school districts run negative balance sheets. These statements show the most distressed districts could soon reach a tipping point into insolvency and receivership.
  • Of the state’s large school districts, those in severe distress include Los Angeles Unified School District, with a negative $10.9 billion balance sheet; San Diego Unified at negative $1.5 billion; Fresno Unified at negative $849 million; and Santa Ana Unified at negative $485 million, the worst in Orange County.
  • Of Orange County’s 27 public school districts, only one, Fountain Valley School District, is in positive financial territory.
  • One bright spot is the 58 county boards of education. At least 51 of them have manageable per capita unrestricted net deficits of -$159 or less, with 14 in positive territory.
  • Of the state’s 72 community college districts, only one enjoys a positive unrestricted net position (UNP).
  • Cal State University’s balance sheet is negative $3.66 billion.
  • The University of California’s balance sheet bleeds red ink all over the state, at negative $19.3 billion. Worse, that will double next year, to $38.6 billion, when retiree medical is included.

The Moorlach Report is a flashing caution light to almost every public education budget in California. Unless things can change quickly, taxpayers can expect new levies, and post-secondary students and parents should fear higher tuition.

This article was released by the Office of Senator John Moorlach.

Editor’s Note: Los Alamitos Unified School District is ranked 426, Savannah Elementary School District is ranked 408, Cypress Elementary School District is ranked 423, and Anaheim Union High School District is ranked 463.

Teachers Pensions Beat Others by 3-1 Margin

By Neil Rubenstein

https://www.culvercityobserver.com/story/2018/09/20/opinion/teachers-pensions-beat-others-by-3-1-marginby-neil-rubenstein/7761.html

In an ironic twist, a recent study by the nonprofit Bellwether Education Partners has found that the rising costs of teacher pension plans are starting to eat into their own salary hikes.

Teachers, and their unions, often complain about low salaries. The research from Bellwether shows that, since 1994, teacher salaries have failed to keep pace with inflation.

But total compensation for teachers has risen faster than inflation when non-salary benefits, such as insurance and retirement, are included.

Chad Aldeman, an associate partner at Bellwether, says lack of money isn’t why teacher salaries aren’t rising.

“Even after adjusting for inflation and rising student enrollment, total school spending is up,” Aldeman reports.

“It’s not for lack of money spent on teachers, either. Districts are allocating about the same portion of their budgets to instructional costs – including salaries, wages, and benefits for teachers – as they did 20 years ago.”

Aldeman notes that teachers have the highest retirement benefits of almost any profession.

“While the average civilian employee receives $1.78 for retirement benefits per hour of work, public school teachers receive $6.22 per hour than three times that amount

MOORLACH UPDATE — Rick Reiff Rocks — October 18, 2018

Rick Reiff informed me that "it’s a wrap" for his Inside OC PBS show (see https://www.pbssocal.org/programs/inside-oc/). He’s done a recap of the last three years with selected clips. So Rick’s e-mail is the first piece below.

When Newport Beach City Manager David Kiff announced that he was retiring, I did a little archiving (see MOORLACH UPDATE — David Kiff — July 13, 2018 july 13, 2018 john moorlach).

I decided to do the same for Rick Reiff. He has been in my life since immediately after the bankruptcy! And all the while he has been professional, poised, balanced, humorous and tasteful. He is a first class journalist, columnist, reporter and television host. Thanks for being an OC icon, Rick. I wish you all the best. Here are most, but not close to all, of the memories we’ve shared. (If you are in a line at the DMV, you may want to click on the links — the mentions are usually brief and concise — they are in date order so start from the bottom or top.)

5/14/18
MOORLACH UPDATE — May Revision — May 14, 2018 may 14, 2018 john moorlach

5/7/18
MOORLACH UPDATE — Inside OC, Part 2 — May 7, 2018 may 7, 2018 john moorlach

4/24/18
MOORLACH UPDATE — The Joys of Presenting Bills — April 24, 2018 april 24, 2018 john moorlach

10/21/17
MOORLACH UPDATE — Bonuses and Bogusness — October 21, 2017 october 21, 2017 john moorlach

10/5/17
MOORLACH UPDATE — Rising Tide — October 5, 2017 october 5, 2017 john moorlach

9/27/17
MOORLACH UPDATE — What Pension Crisis? — September 27, 2017 september 27, 2017 john moorlach

5/14/16
MOORLACH UPDATE — Budget Hearings — May 14, 2016 may 14, 2016 john moorlach

12/18/15
MOORLACH UPDATE — Streetcar Skepticism — December 18, 2015 december 18, 2015 john moorlach

10/29/15
MOORLACH UPDATE — Bay Bridge Bloat — October 29, 2015 october 29, 2015 john moorlach

3/29/13
MOORLACH UPDATE — Libraries — March 29, 2013 march 29, 2013 john moorlach

2/8/12

MOORLACH UPDATE — John Williams — February 8, 2012 february 8, 2012 john moorlach

12/19/11
MOORLACH UPDATE — Merry Christmas — December 19, 2011 december 19, 2011 john moorlach

11/22/11

MOORLACH UPDATE — Laura’s Law – Plus — November 22, 2011 november 22, 2011 john moorlach

10/12/11

MOORLACH UPDATE — OCBJ — October 12, 2011 october 12, 2011 john moorlach

8/8/11

MOORLACH UPDATE — Jefferson County — August 8, 2011 august 8, 2011 john moorlach

5/31/11
MOORLACH UPDATE — Southwest — May 31, 2011 may 31, 2011 john moorlach

5/26/11

MOORLACH UPDATE — Memorial Day — May 26, 2011 may 26, 2011 john moorlach

3/28/11

MOORLACH UPDATE — Media Present — March 28, 2011 march 28, 2011 john moorlach

1/3/11

MOORLACH UPDATE — 2010 Review — January 3, 2011 january 3, 2011 john moorlach

12/5/10

MOORLACH UPDATE — OCBJ — December 5, 2010 december 6, 2010 john moorlach

11/1/10

MOORLACH UPDATE — Dinner Debate — November 1, 2010 november 1, 2010 john moorlach

10/12/10

MOORLACH UPDATE — Coyotes — October 12, 2010 october 13, 2010 john moorlach

8/17/10
MOORLACH UPDATE — OCBJ — August 17, 2010 august 17, 2010 john moorlach

8/2/10

MOORLACH UPDATE — Happy 25th JWA — August 2, 2010 august 2, 2010 john moorlach

6/14/10

MOORLACH UPDATE — Voice of OC – June 16, 2010 june 16, 2010 john moorlach

4/26/10
MOORLACH UPDATE — OCBJ — April 26, 2010 april 26, 2010 john moorlach

4/19/10

MOORLACH UPDATE — OCBJ — April 19, 2010 april 19, 2010 john moorlach

12/22/09
MOORLACH UPDATE — LOOK BACKS & OCBJ — December 22, 2009 december 22, 2009 john moorlach

11/30/09

MOORLACH UPDATE — OCBJ — November 30, 2009 november 30, 2009 john moorlach

10/6/08
MOORLACH UPDATE — Twitter Musick — October 9, 2013 october 9, 2013 john moorlach

9/8/08

MOORLACH UPDATE — Poised for Laura’s Law — September 8, 2013 september 7, 2013 john moorlach

7/14/08

MOORLACH UPDATE — Memorial Gardens Building — July 10, 2013 july 10, 2013 john moorlach

3/24/08
MOORLACH UPDATE — Mulling and Inching — March 25, 2013 march 25, 2013 john moorlach

3/10/08

MOORLACH UPDATE — Harold De Boer — March 13, 2013 march 13, 2013 john moorlach

12/31/07
MOORLACH UPDATE — Happy New Year! — December 31, 2012 december 31, 2012 john moorlach

12/10/07
MOORLACH UPDATE — Assumption Rate Impac;ts — December 12, 2012 december 12, 2012 john moorlach

2/26/07
MOORLACH UPDATE — OC Register — February 27, 2011 february 28, 2012 john moorlach

1/29/07

MOORLACH UPDATE — Nick Berardino — January 28, 2012 january 28, 2012 john moorlach

1/8/07

MOORLACH UPDATE — Voice of OC — January 10, 2011 january 10, 2012 john moorlach

12/11/06

MOORLACH UPDATE — AB 109 & CalOptima — December 12, 2011 december 12, 2011 john moorlach

11/6/06

MOORLACH UPDATE — Voice of OC — November 9, 2011 november 9, 2011 john moorlach

8/7/06
MOORLACH UPDATE — Jefferson County — August 8, 2011 august 8, 2011 john moorlach

6/12/06
MOORLACH UPDATE — LB Press-Telegram — June 12, 2011 june 13, 2011 john moorlach

6/5/06
MOORLACH UPDATE — Today’s Hot Off The Press Update — Your Thoughts? june 7, 2011 john moorlach

5/29/06
MOORLACH UPDATE — Memorial Day — May 26, 2011 may 26, 2011 john moorlach

1/30/06
MOORLACH UPDATE — Retroactive Waste — January 31, 2011 january 31, 2011 john moorlach

12/19/05

MOORLACH UPDATE — Lone Voice — December 17, 2010 december 17, 2010 john moorlach

8/8/05

MOORLACH UPDATE — OC Weekly — August 6, 2010 august 6, 2010 john moorlach

7/11/05

MOORLACH UPDATE — KABC — July 12, 2010 july 12, 2010 john moorlach

5/5/05

MOORLACH UPDATE — LOOK BACKS — May 10, 2010 may 10, 2010 john moorlach

12/13/04
MOORLACH UPDATE — LOOK BACKS — December 13, 2009 december 12, 2009 john moorlach

12/8/04

MOORLACH UPDATE — LOOK BACKS — December 8, 2009 december 8, 2009 john moorlach

9/6/04
MOORLACH UPDATE — Retroactive Pensions — september 8, 2009 john moorlach

8/16/04

MOORLACH UPDATE — Twentieth Anniversary — December 5, 2014 december 6, 2014 john moorlach

9/1/03

MOORLACH UPDATE — New Geography — September 4, 2013 september 4, 2013 john moorlach

10/6/03
MOORLACH UPDATE — Twitter Musick — October 9, 2013 october 9, 2013 john moorlach

7/28/03

MOORLACH UPDATE — Federal Task Force — July 27, 2013 july 27, 2013 john moorlach

4/7/03
MOORLACH UPDATE — Property Tax Due Date — April 10, 2013 april 10, 2013 john moorlach

3/4/02
MOORLACH UPDATE — Encyclopedia of Municipal Bonds — March 6, 2012 march 6, 2012 john moorlach

10/1/01

MOORLACH UPDATE — VLF Theft — October 1, 2011 october 1, 2011 john moorlach
9/4/00

MOORLACH UPDATE — Labor Day Weekend — September 4, 2010 september 4, 2010 john moorlach

12/13/99
MOORLACH UPDATE — LOOK BACKS — December 13, 2009 december 12, 2009 john moorlach

7/6/98

MOORLACH UPDATE — Preserving — July 8, 2013 july 8, 2013 john moorlach

4/19/97

MOORLACH UPDATE — IRS — April 10, 2012 april 10, 2012 john moorlach

3/17/97
MOORLACH UPDATE — Laura’s Law — March 19, 2012 march 19, 2012 john moorlach

3/10/97

MOORLACH UPDATE — Bye, Bye — March 9, 2011 march 9, 2012 john moorlach

8/5/96

MOORLACH UPDATE — Wild Animals — August 5, 2011 august 5, 2011 john moorlach

8/28/95

MOORLACH UPDATE — Voice of OC — August 26, 2010 august 27, 2010 john moorlach

12/12/94
MOORLACH UPDATE — Harbor Patrol — December 12, 2009 december 12, 2009 john moorlach

The second piece below is from the LA Times and addresses the current debate over how California prioritizes and spends its transportation funds. It goes into detail on how certain funds have been diverted and how that may be prevented in the future.

Overall, I commend the reporter’s willingness to give a fair review of the facts.
Unfortunately, the piece does not cover how Governor Brown has intentionally reduced spending on transportation during his two terms. While increasing the size of his annual budgets by more than 5 percent per year, the amount devoted to fixing roads has decreased. It’s a budget crime and a manufactured crisis. So, guilting taxpayers into another tax increase is unconscionable.

I also recently contacted the Legislative Analyst’s Office to review some concerns and specific questions that my office had about the taxes and expenditures for the state’s transportation system. You can find the LAO’s response here: https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/transportation.

Here is my e-mail to the reporter showing the hard data in a slide on the trends. I follow that with a graph on gas prices. Why? Because the real hidden agenda may just be to go after gas-powered vehicles. It’s sick, but that’s what you can do when you control the Governor’s mansion and the State Legislature and have an agenda. You add to this those who will generate corporate profits from the expenditure of this new tax and the picture gets even uglier.

Patrick,

Here is the research we did a few years ago on gas tax revenues, which were trending up, and the Caltrans budget, which was trending down.

This means that the funding that the state has been allocating to transportation has been trending down, while gas tax revenues were trending up. The state has been reducing its skin in the game. Therefore, it has diverted the revenues. Where [the diverted funds] have gone is the big question. Other areas, like MediCal funding or pension contributions or both.

But, with annual budget increases and not restoring funds back to transportation makes a gas tax increase dubious.

It’s been the game in Sacramento to shift funds elsewhere. For the DoF and the Governor to cry poor boy is unfair and looks premeditated. The lower funding appears to have been a choice made by the Governor and those who have voted for the annual budgets.

I look forward to your scholarship and sleuthing.

Source: Energy Information Administration (Courtesy of Stillwater Associates LLC)

Dear friend, in case you haven’t seen it, you are one of the highlights on the Inside OC "farewell" show that began airing this past Sunday. Here’s the YouTube link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxNFd5OA734

We’ve loved doing the show, and you know how much OC needs public programming, but after 14 years I’ve tired of the production side of things.

This finale focuses on the past three seasons (the latest incarnation of the show.)

Initiative to repeal gas tax hike sparks debate over how transportation funds are spent in California

By Patrick McGreevey

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gas-tax-diversion-20181018-story.html

In urging California voters to repeal new fuel taxes, Republicans say the state already had enough money to repair roads but squandered it by diverting it to other state programs.

Legislative leaders deny that money from motorists has been misused. They say the law prohibits non-transportation projects from getting any of the more than $5-billion annual take from last year’s increase in gas and diesel taxes and vehicle fees.

The dispute has been a major focus of campaign ads and stump speeches by those pushing Proposition 6.

Republican leaders have been pinning their hopes on voters being riled up by accusations that state officials have misspent gas tax funds.

“I find it to be a problem when they take gas tax monies that should go to road repairs and they divert it to everything but road repairs,” Proposition 6 campaign chairman Carl DeMaio said last week during aSacramento debate with Matt Cate, the co-chairman of the campaign against the initiative.

Cate and Democratic elected officials dismiss DeMaio’s claims and say that a ballot measure approved in June further restricts the use of new fuel taxes and vehicle fees enacted as part of Senate Bill 1.

“Proponents of Proposition 6 are using a talking point that is equal parts brazen and baseless,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said. “After voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 69 in June, SB 1 funds cannot and will not be diverted from transportation purposes.”

Rendon was among the state Democratic leaders who pushed through the legislation in April 2017 to raise the state gas tax by 12 cents a gallon, boost taxes on diesel fuel and create a new vehicle fee ranging from $25 to $175 annually, based on a car’s value.

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders said the new levies were necessary to address a $130-billion backlog in road and bridge repairs caused in part by the fact that the Legislature had not increased the gas tax in 23 years.

The first full year of new funding, in the fiscal year that began July 1, is expected to generate nearly $4.4 billion in revenue.

Most of the money will be set aside for improving roads and bridges. But 22% — nearly $1 billion in the first full year — will go to a broad mix of other projects, including mass transit, intercity rail, and bike and pedestrian paths. Transit and rail programs are covered by vehicle fees.

Other funds will go toward job training and administrative services for state transportation agencies.

In qualifying the repeal measure for the Nov. 6 ballot, DeMaio and Republican leaders have been especially critical of how the state has shifted funds to cover debt payments on Proposition 1B, a $19-billion transportation bond measure passed by California voters in 2006.

Voters agreed with arguments from then-Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former state Senate leader Don Perata (D-Oakland), who said the bonds would “make a real difference to the lives of millions of Californians, who will find it easier to get to work.”

Although most of the measure’s money went to improving highways, the bond projects also included $40 million to expand railroad tracks used by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. over Tehachapi Pass and to help eliminate a bottleneck in Colton that delayed Union Pacific and BNSF trains.

Some public officials objected at the time to using public bond funds to help private railroad companies, saying the voters who approved the bonds intended them to fix roads. State transportation officials said the rail projects helped California’s economy by improving the flow of goods.

Those transportation bond payments were covered at first by the state’s general fund, which also pays for most other public programs, including schools, prisons, public safety and social services.

But in 2007, the state began using money from fuel taxes for the more than $1 billion in debt service on the bonds, freeing up that amount in the general fund for other programs.

The state stopped that practice in 2010 and instead began using truck weight fees to service the Proposition 1B debt. Before those shifts, the weight fees and fuel excise taxes went into the State Highway Account, which paid for state highway rehabilitation projects and maintenance.

Fuel taxes in place before SB 1 continue to go into that fund, but the new tax revenue goes to new, restricted accounts, including one for road maintenance and rehabilitation.

Last year, the debt service on the Proposition 1B bonds included $499.6 million in principal, $795 million in interest and $481,000 in fees. Since 2010, the state has paid $4.9 billion in interest on the bonds.

The use of gas tax money and then truck weight fees to pay debt service drew objections from state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), an accountant who previously served as Orange County treasurer and tax collector.

Money “should have come out of the general fund to pay the debt,” he said. “It’s a little bookkeeping shuffle. Now the state is coming and saying, ‘Oh geez, we need to fix roads.’ Well you had the money to fix roads. You just allocated them to somewhere else.”

Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), chairman of the state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, defended using truck weight fees to pay bond debt.

“The money is actually going to transportation projects,” Beall said of the bond debt. “The advantages far exceed the interest cost by repairing the roads quicker and getting them done before they start falling apart even worse. It’s cheaper to do it with bonds.”

Proposition 6 supporters have also noted that for the last nine years, the state Department of Motor Vehicles has transferred money to the general fund — $89 million in the current budget — from processing fees charged to insurance companies and others for requesting driver information.

H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the state Finance Department, said that money has “never been considered to be vehicle revenues.”

From 2013 to 2015, the state also loaned the high-speed rail project $54 million from a transportation account funded by the sales tax on diesel fuel. The loan has not yet been repaid, officials said.

DeMaio has also criticized the use of $34 million from the State Highway Account over the last five years for a program that creates bike lanes and pedestrian walkways and makes sidewalks accessible to the disabled.

He says that fuel fees should go only to roads and that bike and pedestrian lanes should be funded by the tax on car sales.

“There is great frustration when people find that there is no money for potholes, but we are removing lanes to do these dedicated bike lanes,” DeMaio said. “We believe bike lanes should be additive, not subtractive. It shouldn’t be an either-or; it should be a both.”

But the state has proposed spending $1 billion of SB 1 money over the next 10 years on such projects, and on providing sidewalk improvements and safe routes to schools.

“They are part of the transportation system,” Beall said. “It’s not a significant amount, but if we can get more people to use bicycle paths and that kind of transportation, it helps everybody.”

The official name of SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act, is misleading, said Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), vice chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Because the new law was pitched largely as funding for road repairs, “Californians are going to be upset, and they should be upset,” when hundreds of millions of dollars instead go to other programs, Fong said.

Beall said supporters of SB 1 were clear throughout the debate that the measure would fund transportation needs besides roads, including mass transit.

“The transit does get cars off the road. That’s why we do it,” Beall said. “It’s a wise investment.”

State Senate leader Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said all spending under SB 1 has been restricted by the California Constitution.

The document says all taxes on fuels for motor vehicles used on public roads can be used only for “research, planning, construction, improvement, maintenance, and operation of public streets and highways [and their related public facilities for nonmotorized traffic]” as well as the same purposes for mass transit.

“No gas tax money has been used for purposes other than those explicitly allowed,” Atkins said.

But Proposition 6 backers say the definition of what constitutes allowable transportation spending is too broad under the Constitution, and they have proposed a 2020 ballot measure to dedicate all fuel tax money to road and bridge projects.

In criticizing the current definition as too broad, initiative backers note that new transportation revenue also includes up to $50 million during the next decade for local governments to provide job training to people, including those just out of prison, so they can work on transportation projects.

About $79 million a year in tax money from gas pumped into off-road vehicles and boats will go to the general fund for state parks department programs during the next decade, while $26 million a year in gas and diesel taxes for farm equipment, including tractors, will go to the state Department of Food and Agriculture.

“When you look at the debate on SB 1, there is a significant amount of money that isn’t for road projects — that goes to parks, that goes to labor programs, that goes to non-road infrastructure,” Fongsaid.

The agriculture agency will use the fuel taxes it gets to pay for inspections and keeping produce-harming pests from the state through point-of-entry terminals. Parks officials said fuel tax money from off-road vehicles will be spent on programs including increased law enforcement, environmental monitoring and maintenance.

Another $70 million is pegged to go to state universities during the next decade for transportation research.

Atkins defended the existing spending plan.

“Nothing in Senate Bill 1, or its companion constitutional amendment approved by the voters in June of 2018, changed the limited uses of gas tax revenues,” she said.

image18.png?w=660&h=165

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

Also follow me on Facebook & Twitter @SenatorMoorlach

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — OC Ballot Measures — October 17, 2018

This should be the final episode of the Orange County Voter Guide for the November General Election. The edition below focuses on the various ballot measures around the county for school bonds and city election formats, tax increases, and other proposals.

The days that I’ve been warning about are here. The big open secret is that tax increases through local ballot measures are not for public safety or whatever else sounds manipulatively good enough to garner votes from naive residents. These tax increase requests are to fund overly generous public employee defined benefit pension plans.

I warned this day was coming (see just one of many examples at MOORLACH UPDATE — Pension Boosts are a Bad Bargain). The link includes public quotes of mine from 14 years ago!

Allow me to provide ten general rules and observations, which will hopefully explain my positions.

One: Vote against bonds. For school bonds, increasing property taxes will hurt homeowners and renters, especially new homeowners who have purchased at recent all-time real estate market highs. (Note: Lowell Joint School District is headquartered in Los Angeles County and was not included in my school district Voter Guides.) We’ve shown you that Santa Ana Unified School District is in such terrible shape, the worst by far in the OC, that throwing more money at this mismanaged district would be a huge mistake (see MOORLACH UPDATE — LAUSD vs. OC School Districts — September 18, 2018). Proposition 39 (2000) lowered the 2/3 voter threshold to only requiring 55% of the vote when the school bond measure is on a ballot for a regularly scheduled election.

Two: Vote against imposing term limits. The reason for establishing term limits — with Proposition 140 in 1990 — was to get rid of then-Speaker of the Assembly Willie Brown. But, I’ve seen how it has negatively impacted Sacramento and the OC Board of Supervisors. Term limits are not an appropriate solution to deal with incompetent, overly opportunistic or clinging-to-a-position office holders. In Sacramento, term limits took power and influence away from elected officials and gave it to unelected bureaucrats, staffers and lobbyists.

Three: Vote against corporate cronyism that enriches developers and stresses the existing infrastructure. Opposing Anaheim’s two developmental agreements are easy votes.

Four: Vote against minimum wage increases. The Anaheim measure is a brilliant, but diabolical union money grab that will hurt more than it will help.

Five: Vote against sales tax increases. Poor management decisions from the past should not be your future personal financial burden. The amount of revenues generated could be equaled by the employees of the cities taking a small salary reduction. If this is too difficult for them, the private sector job market is on fire and they can easily find a new job there. They may realize, however, how good their total compensation and benefit package really is and how unfair it is for the taxpayers to underwrite these costs. Special tax increases still requires a 2/3 voter approval to be implemented.

Although Laguna Beach has honorably dedicated their proposed 1% sales tax towards the undergrounding of electric lines, I just voted for, and the Governor signed, SB 901 to provide Cap and Trade funding for this particular infrastructure improvement (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 1463 Epilogue — October 4, 2018).

Six: With cities being coerced into establishing districts from which council candidates must arise, why should those candidates have to run citywide? I do not agree with splitting municipalities into districts for many reasons. But, if it is being forced on the electorate, then focusing a candidate’s campaign just on the voters in that district is the fairer approach to pursue.

Seven: If a city wishes to pursue financing that skirts obtaining voter approval, why not require it anyway in the charter?

Eight: Should a city have a separate tax on cannabis? Why set this precedent? What product comes next? All to make the annual pension plan contribution?

Nine: Although taxing tourists is an easy thing to do, should you disadvantage your accommodation providers just to make the annual pension plan contribution?

Ten: Should you approve one massive charter amendment, when some components are questionable? Or should the various components have been provided in separate ballot measures?

School District Measures
Los Alamitos USD
G Los Alamitos USD – Los Alamitos Unified School District  NO
Bond Measure

Lowell Joint School District

LL Lowell Joint SD – Lowell Joint School District NO
Newport-Mesa USD
H Newport-Mesa USD – Newport-Mesa Unified School District  NO
Trustee Term Limits

Santa Ana USD

I Santa Ana USD – Santa Ana Unified School District  NO
Bond Measure

City Measures

Anaheim
J City of Anaheim – Referendum Measure Approving  NO
Development Agreement No. 2016-00001
K City of Anaheim – Referendum Measure Approving  NO
Development Agreement No. 2016-00002
L City of Anaheim – Initiative Ordinance to Increase Minimum  NO
Wage Payable by Certain Hospitality Industry Employers
Cypress
M City of Cypress – Rezones 3.86 Acres Located at 5081 Orange  YES
Avenue from PS-1A Public/Semi-Public to PC Planning
Community (PC-14) in Compliance with Measure D
Garden Grove (1% Sales Tax Increase)
O City of Garden Grove – Garden Grove Public Safety/9-1-1 and  NO
Vital City Services Measure
Laguna Beach (1% Sales Tax Increase)
P City of Laguna Beach – Laguna Beach Utility Undergrounding  NO
and Fire Safety Measure
Lake Forest
Q City of Lake Forest – Advisory Vote Only: Convert from  NO
By-District to At-Large Council Elections
R City of Lake Forest – At-Large City Council Elections Ordinance NO
S City of Lake Forest – City Council Term Limit Ordinance NO
Newport Beach
T City of Newport Beach – Require Voter Approval Prior to  YES
Issuing or Incurring Certain Debt Obligations
Placentia (1% Sales Tax Increase)
U City of Placentia – 911/Essential Services Measure NO
San Clemente
V City of San Clemente – San Clemente, Initiative for Election of YES
City Council Members by District
Santa Ana (1.5% Sales Tax Increase & Cannabis Tax)
X City of Santa Ana – General Sales Tax Measure NO
Y City of Santa Ana – Commercial Cannabis Business License Tax NO
Z City of Santa Ana – Charter Amendment Measure NO
AA City of Santa Ana – By-Ward Elections YES
Seal Beach (1% Sales Tax Increase)
BB City of Seal Beach – Seal Beach Transaction and Use Tax NO
Tustin (3% Transient Occupancy Tax Increase)
CC City of Tustin – Increase Transient Occupancy Tax NO

 

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Other District Races — October 16, 2018

This Voter Guide, the first piece below, is for:

1) The Community College Districts, in their ranking order for the 72 districts in California by Unrestricted Net Position (also see MOORLACH UPDATE — UC, CCC and CSU — May 11, 2018);

2) The water, sanitary, and community services districts; and

3) The city clerk races.

Republicans are provided. Incumbents are noted and listed. If they are Democrats, there is an asterisk (*). Candidates with two asterisks (**) are Declined to State. Candidates in bold are endorsed. Those in italics are good second choices.

Capistrano Bay Community Services District does not have a website, so write in a teenager in order to get this municipality up to speed.

KQED provided a half-hour forum this morning on Proposition 1 and is the second piece below (see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — 2018 Ballot Measures — September 21, 2018). To hear the discussion, go to https://www.kqed.org/forum/2010101867764/election-2018-proposition-2-would-use-revenue-from-millionaires-tax-to-fund-homeless-housing and click on “Listen.”

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 2.28.34 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 3.34.55 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 2.29.00 PM

 

FORUM

Proposition 1 Would Authorize $4 Billion in Bonds for Affordable Housing

https://www.kqed.org/forum/2010101867768/proposition-1-would-authorize-4-billion-in-bonds-for-affordable-housing

This November, California voters will decide whether to authorize a $4 billion infusion to existing affordable housing programs for veterans and low-income residents. Supporters of Proposition 1 say it will help address the state’s housing crisis. Opponents of the measure say it does nothing to cut the regulatory red tape that slows building in California and that the state can’t afford to take on more debt. Forum takes up the debate and examines the possible effects of Proposition 1.

Guests:

John Moorlach, California state senator, representing the 37th district

Guy Marzorati, reporter, KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk

Linda Mandoloini, president, Eden Housing

MOORLACH UPDATE — Philosophically Consistent — October 14, 2018

Columnist Steven Greenhut provides a kind shout-out in today’s OC Register. I not only voted for SB 1421, I was a co-author and I spoke in support of it on the Senate Floor (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 1421 and SB 828 — May 31, 2018).

Republican state Sen. John Moorlach agreed with proponents that the public needs better access to police records. He speculated journalists or investigators may have been able to identify the recently arrested former cop accused of being the Golden State Killer had they been allowed to view his personnel records.

The suspect in the high-profile murder case, Joseph James DeAngelo, was fired by the Auburn Police Department in the 1970s after being charged with shoplifting dog repellent and a hammer from a Sacramento hardware store. DeAngelo’s minor crimes occurred during a stretch of brutal rapes and murders in the Sacramento area.

“We need more disclosure, colleagues,” Moorlach said on the Senate floor. “This code of silence has gone on for too long.”

I defended my votes with the local media (see MOORLACH UPDATE — California School District Rankings, Group 2 — August 14, 2018).

State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, co-authored the bill and believes the benefits outweigh the risks.

“I’m trying to assist to getting to the truth and getting to the truth faster,” Moorlach said. “I think there has been a credibility concern about whether we are being told the truth.”

The Sacramento Bee‘s Editorial Board echoed my concerns and supported SB 1421 (see MOORLACH UPDATE — California Cop Culture — June 19, 2018).

I was also a co-author of SB 1286 (Leno), SB 1421’s predecessor in 2016 (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Other’s Senate Bills – 1286, 443, and 899 — April 18, 2016).

Serving on the Orange County Board of Supervisors and dealing with numerous lawsuits generated by members of the Sheriff’s Department, you develop a deeper understanding of what really goes on and what needs to be done to address it. It is nice to receive a public acknowledgment of my stance and my solo Republican Senate votes.

OPINION

Greenhut: Civil liberties and

the police union spin game

By STEVEN GREENHUT

https://www.dailybreeze.com/2018/10/14/greenhut-civil-liberties-and-the-police-union-spin-game/

SACRAMENTO – The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they turn even more slowly when it comes to achieving substantial legislative reform. With little fanfare and no statement, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that allows the public to learn details from investigations of police shootings, major use-of-force incidents and officers who may have falsified reports, planted evidence or committed a sexual assault. This is a no-brainer in a free society, but it took civil libertarians 12 years of work to overcome the scare tactics of police unions, GOP legislators and other members of the Secrecy Lobby.

I’ve had plenty of issues with Brown, but his signing of Senate Bill 1421 — and his same-day signing of Assembly Bill 748, which requires police departments to release body camera footage of most use-of-force incidence within 45 days — certainly redeems his governorship in my eyes. The new laws bring us closer to the state of affairs that existed before 2006, when a dreadful California Supreme Court decision slammed the door on openness and police accountability. Since then, police agencies have had free reign to protect their worst officers.

The 2006 case, Copley Press v. County of San Diego, centered on the San Diego Union-Tribune’s effort to gain access to a disciplinary hearing involving a deputy sheriff who was appealing his termination from the force. The court found that the public has no right to learn about the goings-on in a civilian-service commission or virtually anything about misbehaving officials. It rejected the Court of Appeals’ conclusion that the public has a right to access government information and quoted from a shockingly Orwellian 1978 ruling: “There is no constitutional right to have access to particular government information, or to require openness from the bureaucracy.”

The results were predictable. Unions demanded — and gained — secrecy. Cities restricted their civilian-review boards. The public couldn’t get access to information even after the most egregious-seeming incidents. Progressive California became the most regressive state when it comes to holding accountable its most powerful officials. Things have improved slightly only because of the ubiquitous nature of cellphone cameras, but police use-of-force incidents have become such flashpoints because the public can’t trust the police departments when they can so easily hide information.

As someone who has covered some of these use-of-force incidents, I’ve learned that agencies rarely release videos or internal reports unless that information bolsters the story of the officer. Otherwise, it’s none of our business. After an officer shoots to death an unarmed person, the police tell us not to jump to conclusions — but to wait until the report is done. But after the report is done, we don’t usually get to read it. As the ACLU of Northern California explained, Copley “has effectively shut off all avenues for the public to learn about misconduct involving individual police officers.”

Since then, advocates for government openness have tried to reform Copley, but to no avail until this year. I covered an appalling Capitol hearing for the Orange County Register in 2007 in one of the earliest iterations of a Copley reform. The committee chairman saved the front seats in the room, usually reserved for legislators, for the bill’s opponents. The fix was in.

As I wrote, then-Assemblyman Jose Solorio, now a Santa Ana councilman, “gave a bizarre, rambling speech complaining about the rapper Ice-T, about rap-music lyrics in general, worrying about the effect of open government on police recruitment efforts and claiming that police already are vilified by the public. … He then offered Sen. (Gloria) Romero the chance to withdraw her bill. She defiantly refused … None of the committee members had the guts to offer a motion to vote on the bill.” The audience was thrilled at this display of power politics.

That alliance of union-backed Democrats and law-and-order Republicans has put the kibosh on such reforms in the ensuing years. I’ve been particularly steamed at the Republicans, given their constant rhetoric about limited government and constitutional rights. As I wrote for again in 2016, after yet another limited attempt to open post-Copley public records failed, “Politicians from the party of Reagan and Lincoln should instinctively know the dangers of giving government officials unaccountable power. That so few of them do is a reminder that, when many of them talk about liberty, all the rest of us should hear is ‘blah, blah, blah.’”

The final vote on SB1421 had only one Republican “aye” in the Senate and only four GOP “ayes” in the Assembly. The final A.B. 748 vote had no Republican “ayes” in the Assembly and only one in the Senate — from the philosophically consistent John Moorlach of Costa Mesa, who voted yes on both measures. It’s taken a dozen years to at least partially fix an injustice perpetrated by the court, but justice long delayed is better than justice permanently denied. I guess that makes this victory sweeter than ever.

Steven Greenhut is Western region director for the R Street Institute. He was a Register editorial writer from 1998-2009. Write to him atsgreenhut.

image18.png?w=660&h=165

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

Also follow me on Facebook & Twitter @SenatorMoorlach

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#9 – #1) — October 13, 2018

This is the third of three Voter Guide editions for Orange County’s 27 school districts (for the first, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#27 – #19) — October 11, 2018 and for the second, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#18 – #10) — October 12, 2018).

This is the top third of school districts based on their Unrestricted Net Deficits in the county and the state. It’s the piece below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — LAUSD vs. OC School Districts — September 18, 2018).

The first column is the ranking within the county on a per capita basis. The second column is the statewide ranking, out of 940 districts reviewed, on a per capita basis. The fourth column is the ranking of just the Unrestricted Net Position (UNP). The fifth column provides you with the population that the district serves. The sixth column is the actual UNP according to the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. And the seventh column is the sum of the prior two columns, providing the actual cost per resident if they were to bring the district to a zero UNP.

Because we’re focusing on the finances, for this grouping it is an opportunity for you to thank the incumbents and to encourage them to continue improving the situation. Accordingly, I’ve provided the names of the incumbents, regardless of party affiliation. One asterisk (*) signifies that the candidate is a registered Democrat. No asterisk means they are a registered Republican, and should be a safe vote. If the name is in bold, I have endorsed. If in italics, they are a good vote for the position.  This group has two districts with no candidates this cycle.

For city voter guides, see the following:  

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 6.12.52 PM.png

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#18 – #10) — October 12, 2018

This is the second of three Voter Guide editions for Orange County’s 27 school districts (for the first, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#27 – #19) — October 11, 2018). This is the middle third of school districts based on their Unrestricted Net Deficits in the county and the state. It’s the piece below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — LAUSD vs. OC School Districts — September 18, 2018).

The first column is the ranking within the county on a per capita basis. The second column is the statewide ranking, out of 940 districts reviewed, on a per capita basis. The fourth column is the ranking of just the Unrestricted Net Position (UNP). The fifth column provides you with the population that the district serves. The sixth column is the actual UNP according to the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. And the seventh column is the sum of the prior two columns, providing the actual cost per resident if they were to bring the district to a zero UNP.

Because we’re focusing on the finances, this is one opportunity for you to ask the incumbents what they’ve been doing to improve the situation. Accordingly, I’ve provided the names of the incumbents, regardless of party affiliation. One asterisk (*) signifies that the candidate is a registered Democrat. No asterisk means they are a registered Republican, and should be a safe vote. If the name is in bold, I have endorsed (which I have not done in this grouping). If in italics, they are a good vote for the position.

This group has four districts with no candidates this cycle. The blanks for areas means there are no Republican candidates.

Letters to the Editor in support of Proposition 6 and giving me a polite shout out continue to appear around the state. The second piece is from the Los Angeles Daily News. The third is from Calaveras County’s The Pinetree.net.

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 2.23.44 PM

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 2.24.00 PM

 

LA-Daily-News

OPINION

Vote yes on Proposition 6:

Letters

By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

https://www.dailynews.com/2018/10/11/vote-yes-on-proposition-6-letters/

Vote yes on Proposition 6. For years, politicians in Sacramento have been raiding existing gas-tax revenue to pay for pet projects and general fund spending — not to fix our terrible roads and infrastructure.

State Senator (and CPA) John Moorlach released a report showing that only 20 percent of existing gas tax funds go to roads, and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

And as with most supplemental taxes, we can’t help but suspect this one indirectly offsets debt accumulated from unsustainable public-employee pensions.

Don’t be fooled by the misleading ballot title: “Eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding.” The Prop. 6 title should read: “Gas tax repeal initiative that sends a message to our state government: it’s time for fiscal accountability.”

— Kathy Bence, South Pasadena

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 2.25.16 PM

Vote Yes on 6 to Repeal an Unfair, Regressive Tax ~ Al Segalla

http://thepinetree.net/new/?p=68424

Copperopolis, CA…The cost of living is already too high in California, and the Gas and Car Tax hikes hurts working families that already struggle to pay bills. Estimates suggest the new increase in Gas Tax total will cost a typical family of four $779.20 or more per family, per year. This is about what a family spends on Christmas and two years of school lunches at a public school, or a year of college textbooks.

• The tax also hits business owners who rely on transporting goods, raising the cost of everything from apples to bread and everything in between.

• On Nov 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon of gasoline (and 20 cents more for diesel), also increasing auto registration fees as much as $175 a year – striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state.
The gas tax hike will NOT fix our roads – because politicians will continue to fraudulently raid and divert gas tax funds. This latest gas tax increase contains NO GUARANTEE that even a penny will go to roads.

• For years, the Sacramento politicians have been raiding the existing Gas Tax funds to pay for their pet projects and general fund spending rather than fixing our terrible roads and infrastructure.

• By voting Yes on 6, you send a message to the Sacramento politicians that Californians want raids of our existing gas tax funds stopped immediately.

• Prop 69 did not end the raids of existing gas tax funds and allows the governor to spend gas tax money to fund budget shortfalls.

State Senator John Moorlach – a CPA – released a stunning report showing that only 20% of existing gas tax goes to roads and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

• A 2016 study by the Reason Foundation shows that California spends 2.5x national average on roads.

• All the road projects that the politicians are claiming are being paid for by this most recent Gas Tax could be paid for if the politicians used the existing gas tax revenue for doing what it was supposed to do – repairing California’s infrastructure.

• Nobody is denying that California’s roads are crumbling, but there’s plenty of money to repair the roads if the politicians put 100% of the existing gas tax revenue into doing the right thing.

But that’s not all, our present state budget surplus provides plenty of money to fix our roads.

Please vote Yes on Prop 6.

Al Segalla
Calaveras County Taxpayers Association

If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with the request to do so.

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#27 – #19) — October 11, 2018

Welcome to the first of three Voter Guide editions for Orange County’s 27 school districts. The first group is the bottom third of school districts, having the largest Unrestricted Net Deficits in the county and the state, is the first piece below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — LAUSD vs. OC School Districts — September 18, 2018).

The first column is the ranking within the county on a per capita basis. The second column is the statewide ranking, out of 940 districts reviewed, on a per capita basis. The fourth column is the ranking of just the Unrestricted Net Position (UNP). The fifth column provides you with the population that the district serves. The sixth column is the actual UNP according to the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. And the seventh column is the sum of the prior two columns, providing the actual cost per resident if they were to bring the district to a zero UNP.

Because we’re focusing on the finances, this is one opportunity for you to ask the incumbents what they’ve been doing to improve the situation. Accordingly, I’ve provided the names of the incumbents, regardless of party affiliation. One asterisk (*) signifies that the candidate is a registered Democrat, two asterisks (**) means they are declined to state, and four asterisks (****) signifies they are a registered Libertarian.

No asterisk means they are a registered Republican, and should be a safe vote (with one exception). If the name is in bold, I have endorsed. If in italics, they are a good vote for the position.

This group has two districts with no candidates this cycle. One district has no Republican candidates. Other blanks for areas means there are no Republican candidates.

For Irvine USD, I would advise against voting for the Republican candidate. He would attend Board of Supervisors meetings every week when I served and based on my observations, I am not sure he is up to the job.

The second piece is from KFI AM 640 and is a review, including a podcast, of Proposition 1 (also see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — 2018 Ballot Measures — September 21, 2018).

The third piece is a letter to the editor supporting Proposition 6 from State Historical Landmark Number 296, Copperopolis, in The Union Democrat.

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 2.34.05 PM

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 2.34.32 PM

LOCAL NEWS

Propositioned – Prop 1 – How Do We Fund Affordable Housing?

posted by RJ Johnson @rickerthewriter

https://kfiam640.iheart.com/content/2018-10-11-propositioned-prop-1-how-do-we-fund-affordable-housing/

Propositioned - Prop 1 - affordable housing on the ballot

Welcome back to Propositioned! Hosted by KFI’s Kris Ankarlo, this limited series podcast is back to take a look at the 11 different propositions you’ll see at the ballot box this November 6!

Now in its third season, Propositioned is a chance for both sides on each question to make their case to you, the voter. Then you can take that information with you to the voter booth.

Today’s episode deals with Proposition 1, a general obligation bond that would authorize up the government to sell $4 billion in bonds to fund existing housing programs.

Supporters say the money could be a big help for families who have always dreamed of buying a home in California, but were unable to until now. Habitat for Humanity Orange County Chapter Vice-President Chris Biochi says Prop 1 could help 50,000 families and veterans realize that dream.

“Among families, the house is the single greatest vehicle for inter-generational wealth transfer,” Biochi told KFI’s Kris Ankarlo. “And that changes things for a family. I’m proud to work for an organization that does that on a daily basis and I think this proposition is a chance for us to start heading in that direction as a state, to start giving that opportunity to others.”

However opponents say borrowing money isn’t the right way to solve the affordable housing crisis in California. Republican state senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) says these types of projects should be paid for out of California’s general fund.

“I think the big tragedy is, is that, this year we’ve actually had what we would quantify as a budget surplus. We’ve had a little bit more in revenue than normal – $12 billion more in fact,” Moorlach said. “Well, why didn’t we go use a third of that to go ahead and pay the $4 billion?”

In the next episode of Propositioned, Kris takes a look at Prop 2, which also deals with housing – but this time for people with mental illness.

Listen to yesterday’s episode on the history of propositions in California here!

Here’s what the ballot says Proposition 1 will do:

Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for existing affordable housing programs for low-income residents, veterans, farmworkers, manufactured and mobile homes, infill, and transit-oriented housing. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs to repay bonds averaging about $170 million annually over the next 35 years.

Here’s what a YES Vote Means:

A YES vote on this measure means: Allows the state to sell $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund veterans and affordable housing.

Here’s what a NO Vote Means:

A NO vote on this measure means: The state could not sell $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund veterans and affordable housing.

Photo: Getty Images

Vote Yes on 6 — Repeal an unfair, regressive tax

https://www.uniondemocrat.com/opinion/6588716-151/letters-to-the-editor-for-october-11-2018

To the Editor:

Estimates suggest the new increase in gas tax will cost a typical family of four $779.20 or more per family, per year.

On Nov. 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon of gasoline (and 20 cents more for diesel), also increasing auto registration fees as much as $175 a year — striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state.

The gas tax hike will not fix our roads — because politicians will continue to fraudulently raid and divert gas tax funds. This latest gas tax increase contains no guarantee that even a penny will go to roads.

Prop 69 did not end the raids of existing gas tax funds and allows the governor to spend gas tax money to fund budget shortfalls.

State Sen. John Moorlach — a CPA — released a stunning report showing that only 20 percent of existing gas tax goes to roads and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

A 2016 study by the Reason Foundation shows that California spends 2.5 times the national average on roads.

• Nobody is denying that California’s roads are crumbling, but there’s plenty of money to repair the roads if the politicians put 100 percent of the existing gas tax revenue into doing the right thing.

But that’s not all, our present state budget surplus provides plenty of money to fix our roads.

Please vote Yes on Prop 6.

Al Segalla

Copperopolis

If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with the request to do so.

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — City Council Races (#6 – #1) — October 10, 2018

The last of the five groups of cities for my Voter Guide is provided below. They are the six top cities in my Unrestricted Net Position rankings (see MOORLACH UPDATE — City CAFR Rankings, Vol. 10 — February 27, 2018).

The Voter Guide screening and selection process is simple. I first provide those candidates that are registered Republicans. For positions with no Republican candidates, I either have no recommendations or indicate the Democrat candidates with an asterisk (*). In certain cases, I indicate the American Independent Party candidates with three asterisks (***) as it is a conservative party which endorsed me in my races for State Senate. Candidates who are “Declined to State” or “No Party Preference” are noted with two asterisks (**).

Those in bold are endorsed. Those in italics are a good first or second choice.

My only comment for this grouping is that the Republican battle in the city of Lake Forest has become so divisive, I’m staying out of the contested races.

If you do not see your city below, the first three groupings can be found at:

* MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — City Council Races (#34 – 28) — October 2, 2018

* MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — City Council Races (#27 – #14) — October 6, 2018

* MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — City Council Races (#13 – #7) — October 9, 2018

For the ballot measures, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — 2018 Ballot Measures — September 21, 2018.

For statewide races, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Statewide Voter Guide — September 24, 2018.

For local Federal, State and Countywide races, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Federal/State/OC Races — September 26, 2018.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 11.04.45 AM

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 9.55.56 AM

 

 

If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with the request to do so.

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — City Council Races (#13 – #7) — October 9, 2018

Group 4 of Orange County’s cities provides the following council candidate recommendations below. The cities are provided in the order of their fiscal status according to their Unrestricted Net Positions. The final, and the top six cities, will be provided in the next grouping.

For the details, the candidates provided below are registered Republicans. There seems to be just a handful of races where you may need to do a little extra research on the candidates.

If you do not see your city below, the first three groupings can be found at:

* MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — City Council Races (#34 – 28) — October 2, 2018

* MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — City Council Races (#27 – #14) — October 6, 2018

For the ballot measures, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — 2018 Ballot Measures — September 21, 2018.

For statewide races, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Statewide Voter Guide — September 24, 2018.

For local Federal, State and Countywide races, see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Federal/State/OC Races — September 26, 2018.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 10.01.11 AM

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 10.00.27 AM

 

If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with the request to do so.